Internationalization

Internationalization (often abbreviated i18n since there are 18 characters between the first “i” and the last “n” in that word) allows Evennia’s core server to return texts in other languages than English - without anyone having to edit the source code. Take a look at the locale directory of the Evennia installation, there you will find which languages are currently supported.

Changing server language

Change language by adding the following to your mygame/server/conf/settings.py file:

USE_I18N = True
LANGUAGE_CODE = 'en'

Here 'en' should be changed to the abbreviation for one of the supported languages found in locale/. Restart the server to activate i18n. The two-character international language codes are found here.

Windows Note: If you get errors concerning gettext or xgettext on Windows, see the Django documentation. A self-installing and up-to-date version of gettext for Windows (32/64-bit) is available on Github.

Translating Evennia

Important Note: Evennia offers translations of hard-coded strings in the server, things like “Connection closed” or “Server restarted”, strings that end users will see and which game devs are not supposed to change on their own. Text you see in the log file or on the command line (like error messages) are generally not translated (this is a part of Python).

In addition, text in default Commands and in default Typeclasses will not be translated by switching i18n language. To translate Commands and Typeclass hooks you must overload them in your game directory and translate their returns to the language you want. This is because from Evennia’s perspective, adding i18n code to commands tend to add complexity to code that is meant to be changed anyway. One of the goals of Evennia is to keep the user-changeable code as clean and easy-to-read as possible.

If you cannot find your language in evennia/locale/ it’s because noone has translated it yet. Alternatively you might have the language but find the translation bad … You are welcome to help improve the situation!

To start a new translation you need to first have cloned the Evennia repositry with GIT and activated a python virtualenv as described on the Getting Started page. You now need to cd to the evennia/ directory. This is not your created game folder but the main Evennia library folder. If you see a folder locale/ then you are in the right place. From here you run:

django-admin makemessages -l <language-code>

where <language-code> is the two-letter locale code for the language you want, like ‘sv’ for Swedish or ‘es’ for Spanish. After a moment it will tell you the language has been processed. If you started a new language a new folder for that language will have emerged in the locale/ folder. Otherwise the system will just have updated the existing translation with eventual new strings found in the server. Running this command will not overwrite any existing strings so you can run it as much as you want.

Next head to locale/<language-code>/LC_MESSAGES and edit the **.po file you find there. You can edit this with a normal text editor but it is easiest if you use a special po-file editor from the web (search the web for “po editor” for many free alternatives).

The concept of translating is simple, it’s just a matter of taking the english strings you find in the **.po file and add your language’s translation best you can. The **.po format (and many supporting editors) allow you to mark translations as “fuzzy”. This tells the system (and future translators) that you are unsure about the translation, or that you couldn’t find a translation that exactly matched the intention of the original text. Other translators will see this and might be able to improve it later.
Finally, you need to compile your translation into a more efficient form. Do so from the evennia folder
again:
django-admin compilemessages

This will go through all languages and create/update compiled files (**.mo) for them. This needs to be done whenever a **.po file is updated.

When you are done, send the **.po and *.mo file to the Evennia developer list (or push it into your own repository clone) so we can integrate your translation into Evennia!